WOBO Governor Harbi Arafat provides a short review for Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia as a country started to be affected by the virus some three months later than China. In the early stages of the pandemic, whilst trying to avoid wide spread infection, a traffic ban, at certain times, and in specified areas was introduced.
Shopping malls were restricted to certain hours, restaurants were forced to put distance between
tables and people were urged to use face mask and hand gloves. A curfew was then applied to the main cities.
Due to this action business in general slowed down, a lot of employees were asked to work from home, schools lessons were virtual and the construction field suffered more than any as you cannot “build virtual”.
Expatriate workers had to stay isolated, safe with no chance to go back to their homes and having no income. Citizens were compensated by GOSI 60% of their income.
Many of the developed areas stagnated and many of those buildings under construction ceased work.
Design and Engineering Firms worked on-line and did well but site activities could not progress.
Thousands of workers and citizens who wanted to come back from holiday were not allowed, and some who wanted to go back to their homes were not allowed either due local rules or their home country rules.
The cost of building materials have kept almost same but are expected to be raised after the pandemic.
I run a contracting company, and like many of my fellow developers, we have seen the financial turnover reduced to 30% of the previous year. We, wherever possible, are working, taking precautions and staying safe.